|Publication number||US7236094 B2|
|Application number||US 10/983,946|
|Publication date||Jun 26, 2007|
|Filing date||Nov 8, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 12, 2003|
|Also published as||US20050099310|
|Publication number||10983946, 983946, US 7236094 B2, US 7236094B2, US-B2-7236094, US7236094 B2, US7236094B2|
|Inventors||Micheal P. Jones|
|Original Assignee||Kathryn Jackson|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (4), Classifications (13), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority to copending U.S. provisional application entitled, “Drug and Alcohol Sensor Safety System and Methods” having Ser. No. 60/519,466, filed Nov. 12, 2003, which is entirely incorporated herein by reference.
The present disclosure is generally related to automotive safety and, more particularly, is related to a system and method for improving automotive safety by sensing drugs and alcohol on a prospective driver.
Many resources are committed each year to reducing and preventing the losses associated with DUI/DWI including stiff criminal penalties, zero-tolerance enforcement practices, significant financial liabilities, social stigmatism, and education. Although these measures have proven somewhat effective in varying degrees, society still experiences significant losses associated with DUI/DWI. One device designed to prevent an impaired person from operating a vehicle requires the input of numerical data in a keypad in a short amount of time before starting the vehicle. The effectiveness of this device is limited in that some people can perform tasks of this nature even while intoxicated. Additionally, the task could be performed by a sober party on behalf of an intoxicated driver, hence effectively bypassing the system.
Thus, a heretofore-unaddressed need exists in the industry to address the aforementioned deficiencies and inadequacies.
Embodiments of the present disclosure provide a system for improving automobile safety, comprising: an intoxicating substance sensor for detecting the presence of intoxicating substances in a potential driver; a time delay switch communicatively coupled to the intoxicating substance sensor, wherein a delay signal is activated when the intoxicating substance sensor detects the presence of an intoxicating substance; an interface, for electrically coupling the time delay switch of an automotive ignition system, wherein the automotive ignition system is disabled while the delay signal is activated; and a reset switch, electrically coupled to the time delay switch, wherein the reset switch deactivates the delay signal such that the automotive ignition system is not disabled.
Embodiments of the present disclosure can also be viewed as providing methods of an automotive safety system, comprising the steps of: collecting data from the proximity of a potential driver, wherein the data is collected through a sensor; analyzing the data for the presence of intoxicating substances; determining whether the potential driver is under the influence of intoxicating substances; and disabling an automotive ignition system if the potential driver is determined to be under the influence of intoxicating substances.
Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.
Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure.
Reference is now made to
The intoxicating substance sensor 110 is electrically coupled to a time delay switch 120 for initiating a time delay function when an intoxicating substance is detected by the intoxicating substance sensor. An embodiment of the time delay function provides for the generation of a signal voltage for a specific predetermined period of time after the time delay function is initiated. For example, the time delay signal may be generated for one hour after the time delay function is initiated by the intoxicating substance sensor 110.
The time delay switch 120 is communicatively coupled to an automotive ignition interface 130. In an embodiment, communicative coupling between the time delay switch 120 and the automotive ignition interface 130 may be in the form of a conductive electrical connection. Alternatively, the devices may be coupled inductively, optically or through the use of radio frequency wireless technology.
The automotive ignition interface 130 is in communication with the automotive ignition system 140 and serves to disable the automotive ignition system for the duration of the time delay signal. In one embodiment, the automotive ignition interface 130 provides an electrical interrupt, such as in the form of an open electrical contact in the automotive ignition system. Alternative embodiments may provide a signal level interrupt to a processor or other supervisory control unit, which consequently disables the automotive ignition system 140.
Additionally, a reset switch 150 is provided to discontinue the time delay signal. In an embodiment, the reset switch 150 is electrically coupled to the time delay switch 120. The reset switch 150 may be located or configured to prevent an intoxicated driver from resetting the system and thus operating the automobile. For example, the reset switch 150 may be located in an area requiring specific tools or keys to access.
Reference is now made to
Reference is now made to
The operation of this circuit commences when the intoxicating substance sensor 311 detects the presence of intoxicating substances proximate to a potential driver. The intoxicating substance sensor provides a positive voltage level 315 to the time delay switch 313. The time delay switch 313 subsequently provides a time delay signal to the ignition circuitry 320 for a predetermined period of time, causing the ignition circuitry 320 to disable the ignition for the duration of the time delay. One of ordinary skill in the art knows or will know that consistent with the systems and methods disclosed herein, the time delay signal can be in the form of an open or closed contact, a line or signal level voltage either conducted or transmitted inductively, an optical signal or a wireless radio frequency signal to an ignition interface.
The reset switch 314 serves to remove the time delay signal transmitted to the ignition circuitry 320 and thus restore the functionality of the ignition system. The countdown or delay timer value corresponding to the predetermined period of time is also reset to its initial value.
Reference is now made to
Brief reference is made to
Reference is now made to
Further, one of ordinary skill in the art knows or will know that although the systems and methods herein are presented in the context of an automotive environment, these concepts are applicable to the operation of any vehicle or device, which, if used by an impaired operator, could result in serious bodily injury or death to the user or others.
Any process descriptions or blocks in flow charts should be understood as representing modules, segments, or portions of code which include one or more executable instructions for implementing specific logical functions or steps in the process, and alternate implementations are included within the scope of the illustrated embodiment of the present disclosure in which functions may be executed out of order from that shown or discussed, including substantially concurrently or in reverse order, depending on the functionality involved, as would be understood by those reasonably skilled in the art of the present disclosure.
It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present disclosure, particularly, any illustrated embodiments, are possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) of the disclosure without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the disclosure. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and the present disclosure and protected by the following claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||340/576, 180/272, 340/438, 340/632, 436/900, 436/901, 340/573.1|
|International Classification||G08B23/00, B60K28/06|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S436/90, Y10S436/901, B60K28/063|
|Mar 27, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JACKSON, KATHRYN, GEORGIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JONES, MICHEAL P.;REEL/FRAME:019068/0715
Effective date: 20070321
|Sep 24, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Feb 6, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jun 26, 2015||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|